TESLA bassist Brian Wheat, who is promoting his recently released autobiography, "Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life With Tesla", spoke to Jesse Bruce of Grand Haven, Michigan radio station WMPA about the group's enduring popularity. He said (hear audio below): "I think the appeal of the band is that normal, everyday working-class people can relate to us. They kind of view us as one of them — which we are. Just because I play in a band doesn't mean I'm not working. People can relate to us like the guys down the street."
Wheat also talked about how his battles with various conditions and ailments, including ulcerative colitis and anxiety, have affected his ability to perform with TESLA over the years.
"[Performing] was an escape," he said. "Only when I [suffered a severe attack of] colitis — I missed, like, four shows after that — did I take it to the stage with me. Anxiety, it'll creep up wherever you go. You can be in the middle of singing 'Love Song' and all of a sudden have an anxiety attack. That has happened to me before. For the most part, when I do get on stage, it is kind of a release. I feel like the five of us are up there and no one can touch us. We're in our own cocoon."
"Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life With Tesla" arrived on December 15 via Post Hill Press. In this 304-page hardcover book, Wheat lifts the lid on living the rock 'n' roll life while struggling with anxiety, depression and other issues seldom discussed by musicians.
"Son Of A Milkman" features a foreword by DEF LEPPARD vocalist Joe Elliott, and was co-written with award-winning journalist and author Chris Epting, whose titles include "Adrenalized" (co-written with DEF LEPPARD's Phil Collen) and "Change Of Seasons" (co-written with John Oates).
Wheat co-founded TESLA, which became one of the biggest bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Brian owns a recording studio by the name of J Street Recorders in Sacramento, California. PAPA ROACH, TESLA, PAT TRAVERS, DEFTONES, KODIAK JACK, FLASHFIRES and many others have recorded there.
TESLA spent most of 2019 touring in support of its latest album, "Shock", which was released in March of that year via UMe. The follow-up to 2014's "Simplicity" was produced by DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen.